Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > The Battle with the Slum > Page 74
Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  The Battle with the Slum.  1902.

Page 74
have the order rescinded, and removed the District Attorney who had been elected on the compact platform “to hell with reform.” The whole city was aroused. The Chamber of Commerce formed a Committee of Fifteen which soon furnished evidence without stint of the corruption that was abroad. The connection between the police and the gambling dens was demonstrated, and also that the police were the mere tools of “politics.” In 237 tenements that were investigated 290 flats were found harboring prostitutes in defiance of law. The police were compelled to act. The “Cadets,” who lived by seducing young girls and selling them to their employer at $25 a head, were arrested and sent to jail for long terms. They showed fight, and it developed that they had a regular organization with political affiliations.
  The campaign of 1901 approached. Judge Jerome went upon the stump and rattled the brass checks from the cash-register that paid for the virtue of innocent girls, the daughters of his hearers. The mothers of the East Side, the very Tammany women themselves, rose and denounced the devil’s money, and made their husbands and brothers go to the polls and vote their anger. 1 The world knows
Note 1. Up to that time I wrote of Tammany as “she”; but I dropped it then as an outrage upon the sex. “It” it is and will remain hereafter. I am ashamed of ever having put the stigma on the name of woman. [ back ]



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